Under the Weather   Leave a comment

It’s just been officially reported by the National Weather Service that July was the hottest month EVER in the United States. And the entire year, from July 2011 through July 2012, has been the hottest year since 1895 when the first official records of heat extremes were filed. (Before then there was no air-conditioning or electric fans and people didn’t NEED anyone to tell them how hot it was!). Plus, a severe drought this summer (not enough rain to soak into the ground and be held by the soil) over much of the US hasn’t allowed nighttime temperatures to cool down, as usually happens. The ground just absorbs heat during the day, and releases it back into the air at night. These severe conditions break the records set during the 1930’s, when the land was so dry and the heat so hot, much of the farmland in the central US literally dried up and blew away.

Throughout the world there have been periods of hot weather and drought in the past, but generally these are restricted within limited areas; usually last a year or two at the longest; and don’t combine both heat AND lack of rain. Scientists are concerned that if the weather pattern doesn’t change this Fall, and bring cooling rain, next summer we might see similar dry and hot conditions that we’ve suffered this year – and maybe even break more records. There’s a lot of discussion and research about why the weather is so extreme; some believe it’s part of a natural cycle; others say it’s because humans are putting too much factory and car exhaust into the atmosphere that’s increasing the amount of heat held by the environment and causing a greenhouse effect that will permanently change our world; and others, just don’t know. But we will say billions of people driving hundreds of millions of cars; and hundreds of thousands of factories is something the environment hasn’t seen before, and just like sometimes any of us can be overwhelmed by work or studies or illness and need to take some time off, makes you wonder that maybe the world is feeling a little under the weather, too.

drought NtlGeo

No fishing, here.

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